- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Lives of the Rich and Famous-Vince Fumo Edition
I know, it's such a cheap and easy target...but that's the sort of mood I'm in tonight, so I wanted to have a little fun. So Vince Fumo, needing to raise money for his high-priced legal defense against the 139 count federal indictment against him for conspiracy, fraud, obstruction of justice and filing false tax returns, has decided to put his Green Street house up for sale.
Did I say house? Actually, most of the news coverage refers to it as a ‘mansion,’ and I won’t quibble with that description. Wandering through its six floors one will find six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, 3 kitchens, a basement shooting range, roof deck, billiards room, Jacuzzi, elevator, brick oven, heated sidewalks…oh, and an underground tunnel. Perhaps this once offered an escape route from Eastern Penitentiary, and the exorbitant cost involved in extending the tunnel to some upstate Fed facility may have figured into Fumo’s decision to sell.
The coverage has offered the public a juicy voyeuristic look at the Senator’s lifestyle, and it isn’t exactly portraying him as a man of the people. We’ve learned that he bought the house he now seeks to sell for seven million bucks for only $175,000 thirteen years ago. We read about the millions of dollars in renovations and luxurious fixtures he has sunk into the house, a cost modestly attenuated by the alleged illegal use of staff to do some of the labor.
Getting these details wasn’t so easy before, as the Inquirer article points out:
The year after Fumo bought the house, as the renovation began to attract press attention, a city judge issued an unusual and apparently unprecedented order: The city could not publicize any permits and plans for the residence.
We’ve learned that the Senator doesn’t have to be worried about being homeless once he sells his mansion, since he also has a $1.1 million house down the shore at Margate, a $2 million dollar home in Ft Lauderdale, and a half million dollar farm spread in Central Pennsylvania.
When I first read this, it seemed to catch perfectly the essence of Vince Fumo: the guy has four homes to choose to sell, and he chooses to sell the one in Philadelphia, the city he’s supposed to be representing. Sort of gives the impression that Fumo first and foremost views Philadelphia as his own personal ATM machine. (And hey, isn’t that a large part of what the federal indictment alleges as well?)
But that’s not fair, is it. After all, he needs to pay some really humungous legal fees, and the Philly house is the one that will bring the biggest windfall. Plus, we now learn that his troubles are forcing him to sell his Ft. Lauderdale home as well…for $3.3 million, including furnishings and artwork. (That house has six bedrooms and five baths… damn! What is it with Fumo and this obsession with having a profusion of toilets?)
That will leave the soon to be ex-Senator (and it’s a race to see whether the voters or the Feds will be the ones to make that happen) a choice of retiring, after his term or internment, to the Jersey Shore or his Central Pennsylvania farm. I’d wager on the latter, since much of his political work seems to support the that region over the concerns of Philadelphia.
Plus, I imagine the taxes on that Green Street mansion must have been killing him. Oops, or maybe not. Seems the 2008 assessed tax for the house is only $6,611.
In a controversial vote, the Board of Revision of Taxes yesterday decided to put off until next year the reassessment of state Sen. Vincent Fumo's Green Street home, now on the market for nearly $7 million but on which the board has placed a market value of $250,000….
BRT records show that the market value of Fumo's property has not changed since 2003, when it jumped to its current level from $200,000 in 2002.
Ah, but that opens up a whole other can of worms: property assessments and taxes. And since our purpose in this diary is to just poke a little friendly joshing at Vince Fumo, maybe this is the place to end…